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Gleam of Light

Attitude Towards Others
When one develops the firm belief that God's merciful care extends to all, including his own family and others around him, his relationships get turned on end. He gets new strength in dealing with them.This is a gift from the grace of God, who nurtures all beings after creating them. God increases the worshipper's love and kindness for others far beyond what is normally found in human relationships. Further, God blesses those around His servant and brings them closer as the Holy Qur'an mentions.
The dearest of God's people is the one who is beneficient to others and brings them happiness. The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) once said, "Those of you who will sit closest to me on the Day of Judgment will be the ones with the finest morals and the ones who treated their families the best, and I am the best of you in showing kindness to my family" (Bihar al-Anwar, v. 71, p. 387).

The Instrument of the Will
The things that distinguishes the human being in the realm of living things is the instrument that establishes the will. It issues commands to the body's muscles, moving it towards its goal whether for good or ill. The Devil naturally places a high value on stealing this instrument away from the human being. Just as conquering a kingdom depends on taking over the castle that rules it, the forces of Satan strive to occupy the center of will and administration in the kingdom of the human. From there they can dominate the soul by spreading false desires.
On the other hand, the forces of the All-Merciful also attempt to rule over the soul, seeking the aid the reason, innate human character, the proper guidance. The side that wins the struggle is whichever one finally dominates in the person's actions. Imam Sadiq (A.S.) mentioned the control of this instrument when he said, "One reasons by it, thinks by it, comprehends by it. It is the commander of the body and the limbs never revolt against it or act contrary to its rule and command." The one attempting to perfect outward actions while neglecting their inner origin is like the one who expects the enemy to manage the affairs of his castle for him.
Amir al-Mu'mineen Imam Ali (A.S.) described the crucial battle between those two armies in his Supplication of the Morning, "If Your aid forsakes me during the battle between the Devil and my soul, You will have forsaken me to a place of hardship and deprivation."

Strong Admonitions
When the seeker looks at some of the sayings of the Holy Infallible Imams (A.S.), he finds that they emphasize certain matters with strong admonitions and forceful language. They did this in order to caution their followers against certain matters. When we consider how obstinate we are in ignoring the central realities of life, we see how this kind of severity is needed to get us moving. It's like waking someone from a long hibernation.
One example of this kind of saying is the one in which Amir al-Mu'mineen Imam Ali (A.S.) talks about the nature of the relationship between the worshipper and his Lord: "I don't know anyone but he is ignorant of the reality of what lies between him and his Lord" (Bihar al-Anwar, v. 78, p. 107).

The Pure Heart
Approaching the Divine Master with a pure heart brings perfect peace. This is the whole point of worship. The heart has the power of will, while the mind has the body of thought and the body is the instrument of implementation. The heart though is what drives us to the object of desire, whether divine or profane. The mind and the body cannot normally resist the heart's intense gravitation to what it desires. Those worshippers who carry this intense devotion charge forward, paying no attention to anyone save God.
Imam Sadiq (A.S.) talked about this pure devotion when he commented on the verse, {Their Lord quenched them with a pure drink} by saying, "He purified them from everything except God. There is no one who can purify from the filth of existence save God" (Majma al-Bayan, v.10, p. 623).

Calling People to God
Calling people to God is one of the affairs of the Most High Himself. God said concerning His Holy Prophet (S.A.W.), {(He is) one who invites to Allah by His leave, and as a lamp spreading light}(33.46). If the summoner is not supported by God, his call will only be a nuisance to others. The ability to affect people's hearts is a gift from God, and it doesn't depend much on mastering the rules of eloquence or striking certain poses. This fact was expressed in the hadith, "You find a man whose words are flawless, who speaks so eloquently, yet his heart is darker than the darkest night, and you find a man who is incapable of putting his feelings into words, yet his heart is as radiant as a lamp" (Al-Kafi, v. 2., p. 422). So there is a secret to winning over people's hearts!

The Encounter of the Night Prayer
The night prayer is a very special meeting between the pious persons and their Lord. For that reason, these lofty individuals wait with intense yearning all through the day for this hour of the night. In fact they carry trials and griefs of the daytime waiting for that hour of purity which takes them out of the worries and bothers of the material world. This is the hour which helps the servant in bearing the worries of the waking hours during the coming day.
For that reason, the night prayer which was merely recommended becomes an opportunity almost impossible for them to miss. How could they forsake the blessed station they have reached before? The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) drew attention to this issue.

A Gauge for the Soul
If we assume there is a gauge to measure the rise and fall of the soul, we would find that the indicator that shows the lowest level the soul sinks to shows the actual spiritual level. Hence the worshipper's actual level is determined by his lowest part, not the highest one. The soul's rising is an exception to the rule. Its decline is in accordance with its true nature, as it tends towards frivolity and whim. This is the rule by which the worshipper discovers the level of his closeness to the Divine Truth. The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) mentioned when he said, "Whoever wants to know what God has for him should first think about what he has for God." (Bihar al-Anwar, v. 73, p. 40). In that way he will become aware of the extent of his weakness. This awareness of his weakness will consequently protect him from conceit and arrogance, and will be an incentive for him to get out of that weak condition.

The Heart is God's Shrine
Occupying the heart with something other than God is a grave offence, even if you are doing something good like fulfilling the needs of others. Imam Sadiq (A.S.) said, "The heart is the sacred shrine of God, so don't let anyone into the shrine of God except God" (Bihar Al-Anwar, v. 70, p. 25). The worshipper should not neglect devotion to his Master even if his limbs are occupied with something else. Beautifying acts of worship on the outside doesn't make things better if one is inwardly distracted from the Divine Truth. The inner and the outer each have their role to play. Sometimes one will be strong while the other is weak as it says in the hadith, "God may love a servant but dislike his work, or He may dislike a servant but like his work" (Bihar Al-Anwar, v. 46, p. 233). Combining these two aspects is a serious challenge. Although it seems difficult, with effort and perseverance the worshipper will bring the two into harmony, as did Holy Ahlul-Bayt (A.S.).

Taking Advantage of Opportunities
The worshipper should take advantage of his time, seeking communion with the Divine Master no matter what circumstances he is in. This divine gift can come even when he least expects it, like in corrupt places or unworthy situations. There is a story about Prophet Musa (A.S.). He said to his Lord, "O Lord, I may be in places I am ashamed to remember you." The reply came, "O Musa, remember me in any case" (Bihar Al-Anwar, v. 3, p. 329).
The worshipper should never turn away from his Lord, even in these situations. It might cause this great blessing of communion to go away. Communion especially arises in the places dedicated to bringing it about and the heart is brought to attention without much effort like the lectures where we recollect the lives of Holy Ahlul-Bayt (A.S.). The worshipper will have little problem getting benefit in that context, even if he's not so pure. During and after those gatherings are the best times to get prayers answered.

The Higher Level of Prayer
The prayer is like a complex formula that the All-Knowing God arranged just like arranged the stars. The All-Wise One who placed the heavenly bodies in their courses is the same One who set the various parts of this formula in their places. Fulfilling the outer requirements of the prayer is enough to take care of one's basic responsibilities. But you should also consider that in addition to this outer part, there is an inner aspect which is the celestial realities of the outer parts of the prayer. The one who offers the outward form of the prayer without the inward has abandoned the second part in part or in whole. The hadith explains, "You get nothing for your prayers except what you have offered from your heart" (Bihar Al-Anwar, v. 81, p. 260).

Always Losing Time
The human being is losing out, because every breath he takes sees another portion of his life pass away. If he doesn't strive to be obedient to God, his life will end in grief and regret. If the worshipper lives in awareness of this constant passage of time, he will be on guard against this bitter shock. How can the worshipper be content to waste his time moment to moment when it is possible to take hold of what is eternal before Almighty God? This was related in the hadith which said, "The loser is the one who passed his life away doing that which took him further from God." (Bihar Al-Anwar, v. 10, p. 110). Every second of our life is part of a grand and precious balance, so we shouldn't waste time! As the saying goes, the nights and days are using you, so why don't you use them?

Self-denial in the things we love and hate is one of the most important means of purification and self-discipline, especially when the self gravitates towards food or clothing and the like. We have to stand before our desires and train ourselves to surrender to the power of the intellect. The intellect should have the total role in the administration of the self, and its position is determined by the Almighty Lord.
Imam Ali (A.S.) is related to have said, "If your self gets tough, get tough with your self, it will surrender." (Bihar Al-Anwar, v. 78, p. 119). The worshipper will get a great feeling of elevation and esteem for denying the self, a reward he gets in this life before the Hereafter. This sweet feeling not only makes up for the pleasures that were lost, but it reaches the point that the human being lives in a state of divine pleasure at leaving behind earthly pleasure. Some even enjoy the pleasure in obeying God in taking a pleasure than the pleasure itself. For example, a worshipper may enjoy obeying the injunction to get married more than the pleasure of marriage itself. To reach this degree is a great achievement.

The Causes of Guidance and Misguidance
Adherence to the material world and reliance on the animalistic desires are amongst the causes of misguidance. The human being moves quickly towards misguidance if his desires master him and he doesn't struggle against them. Amir al-Mu'mineen Imam Ali(A.S.) demonstrated this movement when he asked, "How is it possible for one to be guided when his desires have conquered him?" At the same time, taking higher and higher levels in closeness with the Divine Truth is amongst the causes of guidance, and that is following His will and desire. He clearly summoned the people to Him, saying, [And flee towards God]. Just as misguidance drives the individual into the abyss, so does following the will and legislation of the Divine Truth purify the worshipper. The path towards the goal is made smooth for the one who pays heed to the Divine Will which the Almighty described when He said, [He wants to purify you.]

The Immaculate Imams(A.S.) are the Affairs of God
The Holy Prophet(S.A.W.) and the Immaculate Imams (A.S.) are amongst the affairs of Almighty God. So turning towards them by sending blessings on them, performing their benedictions, seeking intercession through them and so forth is a way of getting close to God because of the respect it shows for God's affairs. This approach relates to Almighty God through and through without their being any form of blasphemous association that ignorant people see in it. As much as the worshipper honors the affairs of God, he honors God Himself. The father isn't harmed when other people honor his son, however much they glorify him, if he knows it is on account of his fatherhood.
Imam Sadiq (A.S.) said, "We (the holy Imams) have a Lord who protects us by night and by day whom we worship. Say what you like about us, but consider us the creatures of God" (Bihar al-Anwar, v. 25, p. 289). It is clear that when the Imam says, "Say what you want," he means the true statement which doesn't contradict basic religious principles.

Reasons for Constant Remembrance
There are many reasons for constantly remembering God. The first of them is keeping in mind the detailed attention with which God watches over His servant. How does the servant have the right to turn away from the One who never forgets him at all? The second is the absolute poverty of the servant which causes him to love remembering God, seeking His mercy. The third is keeping in mind the greatness of the reward which God has promised and He never goes back on His promise reflecting the word of the Most High,{Remember Me, and I will remember you}.
The effects of God's remembrance of His servant can't even be perceived because the range of these effects would encompass everything in this life and the Hereafter and what cannot be reckoned. The divine hadith related by Imam Sadiq (A.S.) says, "God said to one of His prophets, If I am obeyed I am pleased, and if I am pleased I give blessings, and there is no end to my blessings. If I am disobeyed I become angry, and if I become angry I render my curse, and my curse reaches the seventh generation" (Bihar al-Anwar, v. 14, p. 459). How can the servant comprehend God's remembrance of him when He is the Master behind all causes?!

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